In Scotland, traditional pub culture is likely to take a hit in the wake of a move to train bar staff not to ask customers whether they would like 'the same (drink) again.'
The shift is the result of new licensing laws coming into force from next Tuesday to tighten up on "irresponsible promotions."
AdvertisementSteve Carr, of Personal Licence Scotland, said his firm was one of those that had been advising staff not to ask "same again?"
"The whole idea is to try to curb excessive drinking. What a lot of people could say is not 'same again?' but 'what would you like?' or 'what can we do for you?... If you say 'same again?' all you are asking is for that person is to nod their head. It's a leading question," The Scotsman quoted Carr, as saying.
Trainers are also telling staff that if a drinker is looking for a refill, he should be given a glass of water.
Bars and restaurants are being warned that offers such as "buy two glasses of wine and get the rest of the bottle free" should not be displayed.
Licensees warned there was utter confusion about how the new laws should be interpreted.
"There is nothing in the training program that requires this to be done. Personally, we would never suggest this. It isn't required at all. It is true that the Act is open to interpretation in a number of areas," said Eddie Tobin, of Security Scotland.
Conservative justice spokesman Bill Aitken said: "This is absolute arrant nonsense. People should be treated as adults and not in this patronizing manner. Do they actually think that this approach is going to change people's drinking habits?"
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